The early church was growing. Saul was a passionate and ambitious Pharisee, who saw the Movement as a threat to the system of laws and beliefs he had grown up believing to be true. He dedicated his life to stopping the spread of the Gospel. He had even approved of the stoning of Stephen!
But God had other plans for Saul. God sees potential in everyone.
Saul became known as Paul as God dramatically turned him around and used his gifts to be an outspoken missionary to the Gentile world.
What’s your favorite travel mishap story?
Read Acts 9. Listen for a part of the story or a verse or a phrase that catches your attention.
(vs. 1-6) Do you think Saul’s heart was open to Jesus’ appearance? Why or Why Not? How does that affect the way you think about family members and friends who are currently not disciples of Jesus?
(vs. 7-9) What do you think it was like for Saul as he sat in his room in Damascus for those 3 days blind and fasting?
(vs. 10-19) What was the reaction of Ananias and what part does he play in the story? How would you feel in Ananias’ place?
(v.20-31) How did the church first react to Paul?
If you would compare your spiritual journey with Paul’s how is it the same or different?
When or How did the Lord first get your attention?
Can you think of a time or an event or a person that moved you to grow or to delve deeper into your faith?
Ananias “Stood in the Gap” for Saul and vouched for him in the Christian Community.
Church research suggests that: “Belonging Precedes Believing.” Do you agree or disagree?
Why do you think God chose Saul?
Why do you think God chose you?
What changes do you feel God is calling you to make in this season of your life?
Pray for someone who is currently not connected to Jesus.
Pray for opportunities to “Stand in the Gap” and help other people feel that they matter and they belong.
Pray that, like Saul, you see and hear Jesus so you can let go of your baggage and live in grace. . . Forgiven and on Mission!